W5R2 - what's the point?

Well I was very happy with W5R1 and found running for 5 mins was OK - so much so that I then inserted a 'special' run of my own on Monday to prove a theory about run/walk/run calculating that 4x 5:30 runs @ 4:40 mins per km pace interspersed with 3x 1:00 fast walk should produce a sub-25 minute 5k, which it did and I covered 5k in 24:08 according to my app.

So I came to W5R2 last night which is 2x 8 mins with a whopping 5 min walk in between. I just don't get it. Obviously there is a progression from running for 5 to running for 8 mins but having such a huge break in between did not seem helpful, especially when in 2 days time I am supposed to run non-stop for 20 minutes. That is a HUGE progression and I am tempted to insert another 'special' of 14 mins run / 1 min walk / 6 mins run before I attempt W5R3.

How did others feel about the progression of the W5 runs?

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38 Replies

  • Just do what you're told and trust in Laura. LOL Week 5 is just another week in the scheme of things. Go with the flow and get it done. Then you can worry about week six. As the great Scott Jurek would say "sometimes you just gotta do things"

    I so wanted to finish the programme I just kept my head down, did everything I was supposed to, and it seemed to fly by. Don't make it more complicated than it need be, would be my tip. Happy running

  • If you can already cover 5K in 24 minutes, it almost sounds as if you do not need this programme at all!

    You need to remember, we do not all start from the same place when we commit to C25K. Some of us find it exceedingly difficult and need these slow stepping stones.

    I am currently on week 7 and am nowhere near 5K. In fact, my predicted 5K time on the Fetcheveryone site calculator is 53 minutes. I am 60, have asthma and need to lose around 2.5 stone (it was 3 stone when I started, so some progress has been made). At best, I can occasionally touch 15 minutes per mile for a few seconds when I run, and rarely manage to go faster than 19 minutes per mile when I walk, no matter how much I try. I found the 5 minute break a huge relief psychologically and physically.

    When I started on the 20-minute run in week 5, it was with the thought in my head that even if things went badly, I could still count it as progress and a partial success if I did it with a walk break of anything less than 5 minutes. Actually I succeeded without a break, but that knowledge again gave me a huge psychological boost. Without it, most probably my fear and anxiety would have defeated me.

  • Hi Dewines. Thanks for this. I am very impressed that you got through the 20 min run OK and 1st go. It seems a lot of people do, which I find absolutely astounding. I suspect that I was fortunate enough to be fitter than many on this forum when I started the programme but I think that may now be causing a problem of its own. When I run I run. I have never jogged in my life and so far I have not had to run deliberately slowly to complete any of the runs.

    The step up from 8 mins to 20 mins now just seems enormous to me. It is almost as if this 9 week programme was put together from the 2 ends and when they got to week 5 in the middle they just cobbled 3 hugely different runs together to bridge the enormous gap they were left with (and yes, I do realise this is akin to heresy on this forum and that I risk being struck down by a lightening bolt from St Laura ).

    My concern is that if I set off at my normal pace I suspect I will be utterly exhausted well before 20 mins but I have absolutely no idea how slowly to set off to complete 20 mins, nor if I will be comfortable running at a pace that is going to feel unnaturally slow I suspect. That is why I thought I would insert a 14R/1W/6R run/walk/run to bridge the gap between W5R2 & W5R3.

    Tell me if I am just being pathetic. MissWobble has already told me to shut up & do what I am told. I do so love a strong woman...

  • Right... This is not a 'sofa to Bolt' plan... You need to tell your legs to ease off for the 20 minutes. Do something like texting or FB when you find yourself bolting off ( I find that helps me slow down and also take my mind off complaints)!!!

  • Another strong woman! Unfortunately texting would require me to run wearing reading glasses which would probably put me in hospital. What is FB?

  • Facebook!!! Oh and perhaps not a great idea.. Ok, ring someone up and talk about something complicated?

  • I sort of agree with you. But I also agree with Laura, you're ready for the 20 minutes, don't set out at 4:40/k pace though, ease it back somewhat, you're not aiming for 5k, just a steady run (and 4:40/k is blisteringly fast!!!).

    Where I agree with you is the 5 minute walking bit between the 2 8 minute runs. That's possibly a bit too long for you (note that bit 'FOR YOU'), not necessarily for everyone. I remember the 90 seconds walking back between 60 second of running in week 1, I remember during run 1 it took the full 90 seconds to get my breath back. I also remember thinking during run 3 that it wasn't. So maybe some would need the full 5 minutes, some won't.

    So next stop is the full 20 minutes, go enjoy, trust in Laura.

    Oh and read this....... triathlon.competitor.com/20... All the chat about vVO2max etc is for the technical minded, but the principles remain the same, short fast intervals. Once you've graduated that is.

  • Hi Beads. Thanks for this. I just read that page. Very interesting indeed. I will definitely be doing that post graduation as I think I will be more interested in trying to improve my 5k time than spending untold tedious hours on longer & longer runs.

  • You may want to have look at the Runner's World C25k training programme if you are finding this easy/not coping with the gaps. The graduations in their training programme are less gappy. My recovery time is relatively quick and I knew I would get bored, so I swapped the Wk5 r1 & r2 with the equivalent from the Runner's World programme. Equally, I added in their wk 8 training before I tackled Laura's wk8 becuase the thought of continual long runs was too much to look forward to. But that was more because I had the running equivalent of a mental block - I mean really, the difference from 25 to 28 to 30 minutes is minor really in the scheme of things.

  • Hi Tanyag163. Thanks for this. Always nice to hear from a fellow heretic!

    I found that programme at runnersworld.co.uk/beginner... It does look more like a 'runners' progression with smaller increments in the running but equally smaller walking intervals. I think I will replace W5R3 & W6R1 of this programme with 2 of their W5 runs. Then I will decide if I rejoin this programme or keep going on theirs. I don't listen to Laura anyway - Aargh! Lightning bolt!

    For anyone else interested here is the RW programme.

    Week 1 Run one min, walk 90 seconds. Repeat eight times. Do three times a week.

    Week 2 Run two mins, walk one min. Repeat seven times. Do three times a week.

    Week 3 Run three mins walk one mins. Repeat six times. Do three times a week.

    Week 4 Run five mins, walk two mins. Repeat four times. Do three times a week.

    Week 5 Run eight mins, walk two mins. Repeat three times. Do three times a week.

    Week 6 Run 12 mins, walk one min. Repeat three times. Do three times a week.

    Week 7 Run 15 mins, walk one min, Run fifteen mins. Do three times a week

    Week 8 Run 30 mins continuously.

  • haha, of course I meant their week 6 & 7 rather than week 8. Although the version I have of their plan is slightly different. There is an extra week after wk6 (so a 9 wk in total) where the run part is 13 or 14 minutes.

  • Yes -- I completed W5R1 this morning with no problems at all. I will also do W5R2 on Wednesday - but after that I will be adopting the last weeks 5,6,7&8 of the Runnersworld 5K programme . I will also modify the final week by running a 20 minute,a 25 minute and finally just one 30 minute run.

    I feel that the Coolrunning C25K Programme has been good up until week 5 -- but then becomes "illogical" to me . I would rather spend the final few weeks building the time/distance up, slowly culminating in a final 30 minute run - rather than run 4x25, 3x28 and 3x30 runs. Once I have proved to myself that I can run 30 minutes non-stop just once , I can then repeat it over and over again as much as I want. It is the buildup to that time/distance that is most important to me.

  • All of the shorter intervals are designed to get you ready and trained for the longer runs. Trust in the programme it does work and you are clearly more than capable!!!

  • I found the thought of the W5 runs pretty daunting but trusted in the programme and managed fine. When I started the programme I was very unfit though and I am still slow. I jog along at a pace barely above walking, it takes me 43 mins to do 5k and I want to try and knock a few minutes off of that and I hope I will do it sometime. ( I don't know, is it possible to do that?- minutes I mean or is that stretching it?, maybe seconds). I agree with Dewines that some people need those stepping stones. But hey, no-ones looking- if you feel like a tweak here and there, go ahead x

  • ...is the pragmatic answer. Thanks No-excuse. I may just.

  • Oo look at your ChrisL with your fast legs. Can you bring some of that pace down here please. :-D You could always do a bit more than what the programme asks if you feel you can. Also do other things alongside your runs, like The Strength & Flex podcasts, burpees, cycling etc. I can see a 10k, and then half marathon for you once you've done this programme.

  • I do do some other stuff Tinyrun but not burpees - are you mad? I am not so sure about 10k, half etc as I fear I would just get bored running for that length of time. I have never experience 'the zone' that long distance runners talk about.

  • Yes that zone is clearly in another time zone. Never had that. I too would find running longer a bit dull, but I think that's because I'm not in that zone, so may be I'm just making an excuse. I can help motivate others, but find it hard to motivate myself. Go on try some burpees.

  • It will take a lot more than that to motivate me to do burpees!

    So if you haven't gone longer (as most seem to around here) what have you been doing since graduation then Tinyrun?

  • I do burpees quite a bit -- especially after a few pints of nice English Ale.

  • Dancing! Ok no I haven't unfortunately. I think I must be lazy, as I have no excuses for running so slowly, like injuries. I just don't get the rushes that others do, though I do feel good afterwards, once I get my butt out the door! I did a few 5k's and tried a few of The Stepping Stones and Speed podcasts, but felt I needed to follow a programme. I also felt rubbish doing The Speed as I can't seem to get any faster.

    I then decided to try The Blue Fin Bridge to 10k. I am not always going 3x a week but I am trying to. As you said before, I also feel that sometimes it's harder to have the 1 minute break then to keep going. We could make a pact to try to do burpees once a week initially?

  • I used to do Ceroc dancing. Absolutely loved it. Don't know why I stopped. Highly recommend it.

    Can you do burpees holding a copy of that day's newspaper? I would require video evidence that you were actually doing them...

  • Haha no chance of that. Well the only way we'll have evidence is if we post on here. I'll just have to trust you....

  • I partly agree with you . I go onto Week 5 next week and I am intending to replace W5D3 (20 minutes) with a repeat of W5D2. Then I will run the 20 minutes in place of the 25 minutes of W6 D3. W7 then already has 3 days of 25 minutes before leading on to 28 and 30 minute days.

    BTW -- this is not "Lauras" programme -- but just Laura's/NHS implementation of the COOLRUNNING C25K programme coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_... which was designed by Josh Clark globalmoxie.com/blog/c25k.s...

    I have been following the programme to the letter -- but I am also cognizant of two principles which seem to be paramount among running trainers and their training programmes - and that is (1) slow and steady progression. and (2) sufficient, but not excessive, time between intervals to recover (for this I use a HRM and can see when my HR has returned to walking pace after a run.) I doubt that I will need 5 minutes to recover from an 8 minute run - but we shall see.

  • That could be a good plan Bazza. Or do W6R2 instead of W5R3 & W6R1 (which looks to be another nonsensical set of intervals). At 10/3/10 W6R2 seems a smoother progression from the 8/5/8 of W5R2.

    I don't have a heart rate monitor but I am seriously considering the purchase of a defibrillator before I attempt to run for 20 minutes non-stop...

  • Chris I am doing burpees! I am doing whatever it takes to get my sorry carcass to 10 k. Doing star jumps and all sorts of nonsense, including yoga. Not done swimming yet as my ears are poorly from my flu. I thought a burpee was a variety of cucumber! Not too well up on all this fitness parlance but I'm learning

  • I agree that you being able to do 5K in 24min suggests C25K may no longer be what you need. I *felt* I needed that 5 minute break, and I never imagined, like *so* many others on here, that I'd manage the 20 minute run. But it worked for me, as it has for many others.

    The run/walk/run thing clearly works - we've exchanged a bit on another thread and I tried it again yesterday - 5K PB at 5:1 ratio.

    Now - you are clearly fit. You're able to pump out 4:40s - basically sprint intervals in my book. Where I have found difficulty, having decided that run/walk/run means that "it's okay to walk", is in deciding *not* to walk.

    If you can do 5k in 24 minutes, you can run 20 minutes without walking if you slow down. No question, no doubt. But it's all in the head - it's the mental challenge of keeping one foot in front of the other. There's a difference between stamina and endurance. There's a difference between 4x 5:30 runs and one 25 minute run. And there's a big difference between where you are at in Wk5 and probably 99% of all C25Kers - I thought I was lucky, nailing sub-30minute 5Ks in week 9... look at you!!! :D

    You say that you think you'd get bored slogging out longer distances - you might already be worrying that you'll get bored slogging out a 5K without walking? That's the mental challenge. I can't necessarily speak for you, but I can imagine that beasting out a set of 4:40 intervals for a 24 minute 5K is going to work the mind in a very different way than settling into a steady 5:00.

    Good luck - are you in a running/athletics club, yet?

  • Very astute Weighty. On several levels. I did do the 20 minute run after all. As you surmised I didn't much enjoy it (much duller than running fast run/walks) but I got round OK at a 5:00 pace (good guess!).

    I will carry on to Week 9 and see just how quickly I can do 5k by the time I graduate. Not sure what I will do afterwards.

    And no I have not joined an athletics club. Not even considered it. Do they have senior sections for the over 50s?

    We'll done on your PB by the way. Do you think you could equal it without the walks?

  • Well done on the run. I'm sure you'll choose the path through the rest of the weeks to suit you. It might be more of a challenge to train the mind into non-stop runs than bettering your time - otherwise, I'll put my money on breaking into the 21:00s within the month! ;)

    I'm not sure if I can equal my time without walks just now - I bettered myself again yesterday by about 40 seconds by increasing ratio to 7:1, with 3:30 runs and 30s walks. And I'm finding it hard to run without walking at all, frankly. Perhaps that's the lure of speed, though.

  • 21:00 ha ha! Not a prayer Weighty. I tried pushing myself really hard today and had my first failure (see my other post). I may be able to manage 4:40 pace for 5km by the end of the programme (ie 23:30) but there is not an earthly that I will get to 21:00 which requires a consistent 4:12 pace. I can't do 1km at 4:12.

    Well done on your new PB again. what is the next ratio to try?

  • I should probably try 1:0. Slowing down to 6:00 pace and working distance up to 10K in an hour.

  • Should or will? An hour is a long time to stay motivated.

  • "will"... getting back on to the treadmill again solely to set a consistent, slower pace is one thing I'll try. I want to learn how to switch off while I'm running and not keep chasing each and every 3- or 5-minute interval around in my head. The latter seems to make me run faster but it's exhausting - physically and mentally.

    But I'm liking the fact that I've knocked so much off my 5K in so little time, just by walking every now and again! ;)

  • I will be starting to do some longer runs soon - I was going to do Run/walk to a yet to be determined ratio -- however that doesn't necessarily work that well in real life because of HILLS. So I am considering using my HRM , setting it to minimum 105 BPM and maximum 130BPM and sticking to "proceeding along" with my HR bouncing between those two limits. The theory being that this would be completely within my aerobic zone and I should be able to go for a long way - and slowly build stamina and endurance

  • Those heart rates seem quite low - I've heard of training where "you don't go above 140", and those who try it frequently have to walk to keep HR down. But what you're basically doing is trying to even out your effort level - until the gradient gets silly, you should still be running up hills, probably at the same cadence, just shortening your stride and therefore running more slowly. But still at "70% effort" or whatever it is. HRM is probably key to such training. I wish I'd spent that little bit extra on the next watch up in the range. :/

  • Yes -- but bear in mind that I am 67! :) So my max HR is quite a bit lower than many/most here. However -- my understanding is that whatever your max heartrate is, for longer distance training, you should aim to do "long runs" aerobically between 60%-75% of max HR. It is the length of these runs (which we probably couldn't finish at higher anaerobic rates) which slowly develops endurance. I also understand that half marathons and marathons are done around 90-95% aerobically -- whereas a 100 metre sprint is done 99% anaerobically. A 5K is part aerobic and part anaerobic. I know that when I push myself just a little too hard during a 5K Parkrun and start to breathe heavily, my HR has gone up to 145-150 , which is obviously in my anaerobic zone and which I cannot maintain for very long. I estimate that my Max HR is probably somewhere between 153 and 170 - probably about 160. For my purposes that is a close enough figure to work out my various training zones.

  • Good points.

  • All your aiming for is a 30 minute jog , forget about 5k distance . I done the 2 blocks of 8 min and actually timed the 1st one and I covered 0.6 miles in that time . so to make it rounder no I covered 1.2 miles appx probably less really in 16 minutes . I walk faster than that when I'm stepping out

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